Zendaya’s ‘Erotomaniac’ Cyberstalker Sentenced in France


A French man was sentenced to five years of high-security psychiatric hospitalization on Thursday for cyberstalking and harassing global superstar Zendaya, according to the daily French newspaper Ouest-France.

The unnamed man sent the star thousands of messages, which escalated in number between September 2023 and February 2024, wherein he threatened to kidnap and rape her, according to the newspaper. Some of the messages also reportedly featured “pornographic photomontages.”

Read aloud in Rennes Criminal Court, one example message sent to the star threatened the star with his knowledge of the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, into which she was flying, and said that if he didn’t hear from her within 24 hours of receiving his message, “she will tremble.”

The lawyer representing Zendaya in the man’s trial, Karim Chentoufi, told the courts that the man’s constant and threatening messages had had a negative impact on her life. “Those are thousands of messages sent by a single person,” Chentoufi reportedly said, “A neurotic harassment that I also call stalking. Real fear was instilled in my client’s mind and she had to put security measures in place for herself, her partner Tom Holland, and those close to her.”

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The report also reveals that Zendaya hired a risk management firm to investigate the man accused of sending the messages, as she made an appearance at Paris’s Grand Rex theater on February 12. The public prosecutor in the case noted that, based on the man’s behavior up until this point, “we could fear a very probable act,” as “we are dealing with someone sick and [an] erotomaniac.”

In his own defense, the man claimed that drugs led him to harass the actress. “I got into meth for a year and it's a crazy drug,” he told the court, “I got it into my head that Zendaya needed me and that I could be her friend.” He reportedly added that he didn’t expect for her to ever see the messages, as “she has millions of people following her.” He was arrested initially for the barrage of threatening messages on February 7, and hospitalized for psych treatment—but he continued the behavior once he was released from that hospital. He was arrested again on Wednesday, and this time faces a more severe five-year lockup.

The man was found guilty, but also “irresponsible due to a mental disorder,” as he was placed into immediate high security hospitalization. Along with his sentencing, he is banned from contacting Zendaya for 10 years, and from owning a weapon.

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